In 2000, 66 percent of adults with a diploma or GED aged 25-19 had some college experience. One-third had completed a bachelor's degree or higher.  As many as 1.9 million children are home schooled. As of the 2000 school year, there were 92,012 public elementary and secondary schools and 27,223 private elementary and secondary schools.  The average private school tuition nationwide, according to a 1996 Cato Institute study, was $3,116, with 67 percent of all private elementary and secondary schools charging $2,500 or less. Total K-12 federal, state, and local spending for Education, both public and private, climbed to over $420 billion for the 2000-2001 school year.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics of State School Systems; Statistics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Systems; Statistics of Nonpublic Secondary Schools; Statistics of Nonpublic Elementary and Secondary Schools; Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education; Fall Enrollment in Institutions of Higher Education; Financial Statistics of Institutions of Higher Education; Common Core of Data surveys; and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System surveys.
Federal FundingIn 2001, taxpayers spent an estimated $92.8 billion on Education at the federal level, of which about 40 percent went through the Department of Education. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Labor, Defense, and Energy also spent large amounts of money. $48 billion went to elementary and secondary school programs. Just under half of this amount was spent on programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act), as well as special Education and vocational education.  More women than men earn associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. In 1999-2000, the total cost of tuition and room and board was estimated to be $7,302 at public colleges and $20,277 at private colleges. All public post-secondary 2-year institutions, 81 percent of public 4-year institutions, and 63 percent of private 4-year institutions offer remedial courses in reading, writing, or mathematics.  On the TIMSS 1995 study, which tested 12th graders, American students were ranked 19th out of 21 countries in both math and science general knowledge.
Source: Ludger Woessman, "Why Student in Some Countries Do Better," Education Next, Summer 2001, p. 69. http://www.educationnext.org/20012/67.html
10 states have publicly sponsored private school choice programs, from vouchers to tax credits.
Students attending nearly 10,000 failing schools will be eligible for public school choice or supplemental services this fall under the No Child Left Behind Act.  Over the past decade, the number of students with disabilities served in regular classrooms has increased.  Salaries range from $23,135 to $81,067.  The number of computers in public schools increased from a ratio of over 63 students for every computer in 1985 to less than five per computer in 2000.
Looking for more statistics? Visit the National Center for Education Statistics.
Krista Kafer is Senior Policy Analyst for Education at the Heritage Foundation